During the 2008 season, Nebraska saw two receivers, Nate Swift and Todd Peterson, each accumulate 60-plus catches and account for 14 touchdown receptions between them.
I think it is safe to say that this is the first time in the long history of Nebraska Cornhuskers football that two receivers have had 60-plus catches in the same year.
Nebraska will miss that production for sure, but Swift and Peterson offered so much more than just being able to catch the ball.
Both players had been in this offensive system for four-plus years and had matured along with quarterback Joe Ganz. Swift and Peterson each had a knack for getting open, especially against a zone defense and this only comes with a very good grasp of the offensive system.
It always seemed that at important moments Joe Ganz could find one of these guys open against any defense.
Nebraska will be breaking in a new quarterback in 2009 and he is going to have to have some players step up that he can get the ball to.
Whose it going to be?
Upcoming is a short synapses of the receivers on the roster for 2009 and what we should expect from each of these player sin 2009.
Classes listed will be for 2009
Sr. Menelik Holt 6'4" 220 lbs
Holt comes into 2009 as the most experienced receiver among that group with 30 catches in 2008. In 2008, he was the third receiver behind Swift and Peterson and did make some plays. Has shown glimpses of being able to be that guy that can be counted on in 2009. He needs to be a big time player for Nebraska in 2009. Good hands, good possession guy.
Jr. Niles Paul 6'1" 210 lbs
Nebraska needs for Niles to start to fulfill some of that potential as a highly ranked recruit out of Omaha North. Is a very physical player and a nasty blocker on running plays. Needs to be more consistent in his routes and catching the ball. Has all the tools to be a standout player, like his uncle Ahman Green was for Nebraska.
So. Curenski Gilleylan 6'0" 210 lbs
Gilleylan is still a work in progress. Of the receivers likely to see playing time in 2009, Curenski does have the most speed. He can be that receiver to beat the defense deep, but needs to become more refined in catching the ball and route running.
Sr. Chris Brooks 6'2" 210 lbs
Chris made a few plays last year, and prior to that, Husker fans had been wondering when the former Missouri high school player of the year would make a splash. It's 2009 now and time for Chris to be one of the guys. Chris has the tools to be a very good receiver and a play maker for the Huskers in 2009.
Jr. Will Henry 6'5" 220 lbs
Henry is another guy who needs to get in the mix and be one of the guys that can be counted on in 2009. With his size and length he could prove to be a nice possession type or inside the twenty receiver.
So. Brandon Kinnie 6'3" 215 lbs
Brandon is a transfer from Fort Scott Community College in Kansas that joined the Huskers as a member of the 2009 recruiting class. For a big receiver Kinnie possess a 4.4 speed and is a very physical player. Is tough to bring down by one player once he has the ball. Fort Scott Community College assistant coach Michael Chandler: "Brandon has tremendous upside. I think he can be unstoppable and he is still maturing."
Fr. Khiry Cooper 6'2" 180 lbs
Khiry is a tremendously talented athlete. Just this month he is starting his first season as an outfielder for the Husker baseball team. He will be the first player to pull the baseball/football double since Darin Erstad in the mid-90s. According to his high school coach, Khiry is a fantastic route runner, with superb hands. But, he also has the speed to burn the defense deep. I know the coaches will want to give him a strong look in 2009 because he performed exceptionally well last year as a member of the scout team while redshirting in 2008.
Fr. Antonio Bell 6'2" 180 lbs
Bell is another young player that the coaches are extremely excited to have in the program. Antonio is another young receiver with some very good hands, a possession type receiver, but with the speed to get deep. Bell originally signed with Nebraska in February of 2008, but joined the team at semester in 2009 due to needing to take a class or two to get eligible.
Sr. Wes Cammack 5'11" 195 lbs
Wes has been a special teams demon during his career at Nebraska and now may be his time to step up and shine at receiver or just add some depth to the position. A very smart and heady kid that can help the younger players along.
Rfr. Wr. Tim Marlowe 5'10" 160 lbs
I think it's too early to expect any serious contributions at the receiver position by Marlowe. But, this kid does have some abilities that will be very useful in other areas. Most notable he has some very serious speed, quickness and athletic ability, and I am sure he will get a strong look as a kickoff/punt return guy.
Some of the younger guys below will be counted on to provide depth at receiver and play on special teams.
Rfr. Steven Osborne 6'4" 185 lbs
Rfr. KC Hyland 6'6" 195 lbs
Fr. John Dostal 5'9" 175 lbs
So. Ben Lester 5'10" 170 lbs
Nick Faila, a 5'10" 180 player out of Millard North and Ty Kildow a 5'7" 165 lb player out of Millard South joined the program just last month and will likely redshirt.
Ty Kildow would have received numerous scholarship offers from Division 1 schools if not for suffering a serious knee injury early in his senior year that required surgery and rehabilitation.
Before the injury he was clocked at a legitimate 4.3 in the 40 at the Nebraska football camp. He came to Nebraska as a walk on and will be sitting out 2009.
So, come 2010 his knee will have had almost two solid calender years to heal up and get back to where he was prior to the injury.